Most Internet users take steps to avoid surveillance
Hackers, criminals and advertisers are at the top of the list of groups people wish to avoid, the survey showed
IDG News Service - A majority of U.S. Internet users polled in a recent survey report taking steps to remove or mask their digital footprints online, according to a report from the Pew Research Center's Internet Project and Carnegie Mellon University.
While 86 percent of the Internet users polled said they made some attempt hide what they do online, more than half of the Web users also said they have taken steps to avoid observation by organizations, specific people or the government, according to the survey.
The survey's findings are based on telephone interviews among a sample of 1,002 adults, age 18 or older in July, with 792 Internet users among the respondents.
Other measures taken to cloak online activity were not using websites that asked to disclose a user's real name (36 percent of users polled), using a temporary user name or email address (26 percent), posting comments without revealing who you are (25 percent). Twenty-one percent of the Internet users polled said they had asked others to remove something that was posted about them.
Some Internet users also use public computers to browse and give inaccurate information about themselves, while 14 percent said they at times encrypt email and 14 percent said they use services like virtual networks or proxy servers such as Tor anonymity software, which allow them to browse without being tied to a specific IP address, the survey found.
Beyond general measures taken to go online more or less anonymously, the majority of Internet users polled (55 percent) have tried to avoid observation by specific people or groups. "Hackers, criminals and advertisers are at the top of the list of groups people wish to avoid," Pew said.
But a minority of Web users said they tried to hide their online activities from certain friends, people form their past, family members or partners as well as their employers, coworkers, supervisors, companies, people that might want payment for downloaded files and to a lesser extent the government (5 percent) and law enforcement (4 percent).
However, despite these precautions 21 percent of the online adults polled said they have had an email or social media account hijacked and 11 percent said they have had vital information like Social Security numbers, bank account data, or credit cards stolen.
- NSA defends collecting data from U.S. residents not suspected of terrorist activities
- Groups fear bill would allow free flow of data between private sector and NSA
- Google's move into home automation means even less privacy
- Bill to require warrant for email searches gains ground in House
- Coming soon to a fridge near you -- targeted ads
- Snowden leaks prompt tech firms to tout privacy, transparency policies
- License reader lawsuit can be heard, appeals court rules
- Is EU's 'right to be forgotten' really the 'right to edit the truth'?
- Tails 1.0: A bootable Linux distro that protects your privacy
- Privacy jitters derail controversial K-12 big data initiative
- Combating Identity Theft in a Mobile, Social World Offering identity theft protection and remediation allows businesses to give their workforce the confidence to efficiently engage while bringing financial reward to the...
- After a Breach: Managing Identity Theft Effectively This white paper from LifeLock Business Solutions notes that FIs in addition to managing fraud should strive to turn a negative event for...
- Combating Identity Fraud in a Virtual World This slide presentation reveals findings from the Javelin Strategy & Research 2012 Identity Fraud Report about mobile and social trends, the real risks...
- Securing Mobile App Data - Comparing Containers and App Wrappers Analysts agree that Mobile Device Management (MDM) is not enough when it comes to securing app data. Although it remains a critical component...
- Data Protection and Disaster Recovery with iSCSI and VMware Get this on demand webcast now
- Accelerate your innovation with IBM Bluemix™ Join us for a webcast introducing the new IBM BluemixTM. IBM Bluemix (www.bluemix.net) is a developer oriented Platform as a Service (PaaS) environment... All Privacy White Papers | Webcasts
Our new bimonthly Internet of Things newsletter helps you keep pace with the rapidly evolving technologies, trends and developments related to the IoT. Subscribe now and stay up to date!